What's Wrong with Canadian Mining?
From recent murders of anti-mining leaders in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador, to forced evictions in Papua New Guinea (PDF), it is clear that Canada’s mining industry has a problem.
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (a mining lobby group) recently commissioned a report called "Corporate Social Responsibility: Movements and Footprints of Canadian Mining and Exploration Firms in the Developing World". The report concludes that Canadian mining firms are the worst in the world for the environment and rights.
the 171 companies identified in incidents involving mining and
exploration companies over the past 10 years, 34 per cent are Canadian"
For examples of the kinds of environmental and human rights abuse
allegations made against the Canadian Mining Industry see:
Toronto Star, Canadian Mining Firms Face Abuse Allegations, November 22, 2009
Canadian Mining Map
Toronto Star, Trouble at Canadian Mining Sites Around the
The House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade says:
“The Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Development has heard evidence related to the activities of Canadian mining and other resource companies in developing countries, including Colombia, Sudan and the Democratic republic of Congo. . . . These hearings have underlined the fact that mining activities in some developing countries have had adverse effects on local communities, especially where regulations governing the mining sector and its impact on the economic and social wellbeing of employees and local residents, as well as on the environment are weak, or non-existent, or where they are not enforced.”
Supreme Court Justice Ian Binnie says:
“You cannot have a functioning global economy with a dysfunctional global legal system: there has to be somewhere, somehow, that people who feel that their rights have been trampled on can attempt redress.”
The UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Business and Human Rights says:
“The root cause of the business and human rights predicament today lies in the governance gaps created by globalization – between the scope and impact of economic forces and actors, and the capacity of societies to manage their adverse consequences. These governance gaps provide the permissive environment for wrongful acts by companies of all kinds without adequate sanctioning or reparation.”